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Autopromotec 2019, passed with flying colours

Automotive Aftermarket 


The international biennial trade show, which ended its activities at the end of May, saw the  participation of 1,676 companies and well over 119 thousand professional operators.

Enrica Lazzarini

Although less than a month has passed since the end of the 28th edition of Autopromotec, the organizers are already thinking about the next edition scheduled for 2021, starting from what is now an absolute reality: technological innovation, which is turning the automotive sector upside down, and in order to keep up with the changes significant investments are needed in connectivity, artificial intelligence, big data analysis and professional training. All these elements represented the leitmotif of many of the meetings that took place during the 5 days (22-26 May 2019) of the event held in Bologna. These topics, in fact, prompted many companies and professionals not to miss this appointment, which meant closing the fair with a positive balance.

In fact, 1,676 companies chose the event as a showcase to present - often as a preview - their products and services, with a 4.4% increase in the number of participating companies compared to the 2017 edition. Of these, 43% were foreign companies representing a total of 53 countries. The event filled 17 exhibition halls and 5 outdoor areas with a total exhibition space of 162,000 m2, and attracted 119,108 professional operators, with an increase of 4.85% compared to 2017, who had the opportunity to meet specialist companies from all sub-sectors of the Aftermarket.

Autopromotec’s International outlook was evidenced by the number of foreign professionals in attendance, 18% of the total, and the presence of more than 100 buyers from 32 countries. Buyers and institutional operators were also the protagonists of 629 B2B meetings with Italian exhibitors, organized as part of the on-going international promotion campaign of Autopromotec and the entire automotive aftermarket chain, the result of collaboration with the Emilia-Romagna Region and ICE (Italian Foreign Trade Agency).

There was also a strong increase in digital activity: in the first five months of 2019, the Autopromotec website recorded 234,868 different visitors (+28.3% compared to the same period in 2017), for a total of 2,476,314 pages viewed (+25% compared to the same period in 2017). The number of users who followed the 2019 edition of Autopromotec live, interacting actively on social profiles, was also remarkable.

"The technological level of all exhibiting companies confirmed what analysts had previously announced: technology, technical information and training are all ingredients of a single “recipe” that will lead aftermarket companies and operators into a future that has already begun - said Renzo Servadei, CEO of Autopromotec, commenting on the results of the 2019 edition -. New fuels, ADAS devices, a new approach towards mobility and increased environmental awareness are important challenges but also great opportunities for those who will prove ready to take them. Autopromotec provided many useful indications on how to plan one's own future without neglecting the following generations".

Autopromotec, as always, played a key role in promoting the professional growth of the sector’s operators, and the 2019 edition was no exception as it explored some of the most vital issues for the automotive after-sales market. The over 20 conferences and round tables held under the aegis  of AutopromotecEDU, aimed at promoting information, training and a constructive dialogic approach, revealed how the evolution of the market and the new mobility scenarios is going in the direction of greater technological innovations also applied to vehicle assistance, which means new professional skills and marketing tools. Furthermore, special initiatives attracted a wide audience of professionals and enthusiasts: among them we find "Hybrid & ADAS Village", an area dedicated to illustrating the latest ADAS systems on hybrid cars, created in collaboration with Quattroruote Professional; "Autopromotec Motorsport", was an initiative sponsored by ACI Sport and ANFIA-Motorsport to celebrate the relationship between aftermarket companies and motorsport; the "Officina X.0" project, a collaboration between Autopromotec and Accenture, highlighted the role of digitisation and connectivity in repair work. Autopromotec, set deep in the heart of Italy’s "Motor Valley", could not neglect paying a special homage to Italy’s genius, creativity and passion for engines with "Italy, passion in red", a special exhibition of vintage cars organized by Ruoteclassiche, with 6, strictly red, examples of the country’s automotive heritage, held in collaboration with FCA Heritage and private collectors. 

And now the organizers have already set their sights on the future, and the dates of the next edition of the fair have already been scheduled: the 29th edition of Autopromotec will be held from the 26th to 30th May, 2021, as always in Bologna’s renowned fair grounds.





In 1973 the automotive aftermarket sector in Italy was showcased at the Sarp-Siac exhibition. Today, almost fifty years later, the technological innovations linked to the mega trends of mobility - AI, IoT and Big data – found a home at Autopromotec. The history of the international automotive aftermarket exhibition spans almost half a century, and in all this time countless changes have been witnessed: starting with the birth of the event itself. The idea of a trade fair dates back to 1965 when Luigi Degli Esposti, secretary of Airp (Italian Association of Tire Retreaders) decided to inaugurate the Sarp (Tire Retreading Equipment Show) in Rome, with the aim of giving visibility to the technological development of the world of retreading. Two years later, the show moved to Bologna and increased its international outlook. But the turning point for Autopromotec's “ancestor” came in 1973. Onelio Picchioni and Giorgio Cometti, co-founders of Aica (Italian Association of Automobile Equipment Manufacturers), decided to merge two international exhibitions, the already mentioned Sarp and Siac (International Exhibition of Equipment, Workshops and Bodies), thus creating a single exhibition dedicated to the world of the automotive aftermarket: the aim was to connect companies in the supply chain with the largest number of potential buyers, both in Italy and abroad. However, a few more years, and a "new world", would be necessary to see the name of the event change. In 1991, in fact, the organizers did away with the name Sarp-Siac and adopted a new brand, Autopromotec! Since then, a lot of time has gone by, and the most specialized international aftermarket exhibition of automotive equipment has now become a sort of selection of specialized events where, thanks to its hall-by-hall approach, visitors can plan specific routes customized according to professional interests. Throughout this time, the fair has kept pace with the technological and professional growth of the automotive sector, becoming a reference point between supply and demand, as a place where business and networking opportunities are created on a global level.

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